“Do I move somewhere I really want to live or do I move to where a job takes me?”
This is a question that many college grads face as they attempt to plan their future. I was one of them. Ever since I began thinking about my life after college I told myself that I wanted to move out of Burlington. Yes, I love Church Street Marketplace and living a stone’s throw away from Lake Champlain. I have amazing friends –in fact, too many, since I never have time to hang out with everyone.– Nonetheless, I held a strong belief that graduating from college gave me the perfect opportunity to move and try somewhere new. After all, Burlington isn’t going anywhere and I can always come back.
My discussion with 2010 college grad Corey opened up my eyes to a different perspective on the issue of Job vs. Location. She too had big plans to move out of her college town. Then she was offered a job in Burlington and accepted it with open arms. Corey explained to me that the experience she would receive if she took this job was a much better opportunity than she could possibly get anywhere else. “What’s two more years?” she asked me. “I don’t want to stay in Burlington forever. But the experience I’m gaining right now will be invaluable for whatever my path is in the future.”
After this conversation, I began to look at my future in a new light. I came to the conclusion that the one thing that will keep me in Burlington is if I get a job offer that I can’t turn down. Still, at the same time, I was worried that unlike Corey, I would feel trapped if I stuck around. I wouldn’t be happy, or even content, with the great experience that I was gaining, Rather, I would dislike my life and be angry that I hadn’t gotten out when I had the chance.
Although I didn’t have any actual job offers in Burlington throughout the last few months, I did have numerous possibilities that could have been pursued. Shortly after my internship at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters came to an end, a job opened up that I could have applied for. I didn’t. A few members at the country club asked me if I had applied for a position at the company that they own, displaying the feeling that they would easily hire me if I had. I hadn’t. Once, I was talking with a stranger while I was bartending. The conversation ended with me being offered a job in SEO and social media –which would be ideal– if I wanted to stick around Burlington. –I had already signed a lease in Boston, so this was out of the question, but I still technically turned down a great job offer.–
Clearly, I made the decision that location is more important than a good job. Was this the right choice? Yes, I’m ready to get out of Burlington and out of Vermont. But should I have sucked it up for a few more years like Corey decided to do? A part of me wonders if rushing out of the one place where I have the most connections is stupid. At the same time, I’m trusting my instinct and I’m very excited to be moving. With the economy in shambles and people’s fight for jobs so strong, it’s a little bit crazy that I turned down so many good opportunities. Still, my decision to move just feels right.